Copyright 2012 Anita Valle. All rights reserved.
|Maelyn was not born a princess. The king found her as a child,
the lone survivor of a poor village slaughtered by the Red Fever.
Suddenly she became a princess of Runa Realm, the first of nine
orphans adopted by the king.
By her eighteenth year, Maelyn rules over Runa and a family of
nine sisters. But some call the princesses frauds and imposters,
a handful of urchins raised into royalty. Even Uncle Jarrod, the
High King of Grunwold, seems determined to prove that Maelyn
no longer deserves to be a princess. With a family losing faith in
her, and a kingdom growing dangerously hostile, even Maelyn
begins to wonder if she is truly a real princess. And if her riches
will turn to rags once again….
The Nine Princesses Novellas is a series that chronicles the
adventures of an unconventional family of princesses, the
struggles they face in a kingdom often hostile to their humble
origins, and the day-to-day dramas of nine young women whose
personalities often clash like swords. Fans of Gail Carson Levine
and Shannon Hale would enjoy this young-adult series.
(Recommended for ages 12 and up)
|Who are The Nine
|They are sisters; a family
of teenage princesses
who live all alone. No
king. No queen. No
princesses take care of
themselves. They divide
the duties of running a
castle and kingdom and
each princess has a
|What are their
names and titles?
|They were not born
princesses. They came
from different kingdoms,
orphaned by different
mothers. Nine infants,
daughters of the lowest
and poorest. Until the
king found them and
made them his daughters.
|Prologue from Book 1: "Maelyn"
The child was too young to understand death. All she knew was
that Mama would not move. The child prodded and whined and
stomped her small feet. But nothing stirred Mama from her bed.
When the cottage darkened, the child slept on the floor rushes,
collecting bits of dried grass in her brown hair. At dawn she
rubbed her eyes with the backs of her hands and cried at the
pain in her belly. She could speak the word “bread” but she could
not find any.
She padded to the door and gripped the latch above her head.
Without looking back at Mama, she ventured out in quest of
Everything felt warm. The drying mud that clutched her toes; the
breeze against her cheeks; the puddle of rainwater in which she
dunked her face, gulping until it dribbled a dark streak down the
front of her dress.
She wandered across the scant village, in and out of the
scattered huts. No bread. No animals. No people either, except a
few who slept like Mama.
In the last cottage she found half an apple and a wedge of
cheese on a low sill. She devoured them on sight. The pain in her
belly ebbed, but not enough.
Wandering out again, the child watched the stillness around her.
She didn’t understand the quiet, only the feeling of wrongness it
gave her. So her small feet turned away from the village and
carried her across fields of flat emptiness. She found a road and
instinctively followed it, walking until her legs ached and the pain
in her belly sharpened again.
When evening burned the sky pink as her sun-baked cheeks, she
sat on the parched grass by the road and cried into the backs of
her hands again. The sound of approaching horses meant
nothing to her. Horses were not bread.
“Is that a child?” someone asked.
The child looked up at a very large man on a very large horse. He
wore colors she’d never seen and things that sparkled like
sunlight on water. She cried harder in fear of his strangeness.
“Yes, Sire. A girl, I think.” A smaller man on a smaller horse rode
by the shiny man. He too wore strange colors, but nothing that
“Alone,” said the shiny man, his eyes sweeping acres of
nothingness behind her. “Must be from one of the stricken
“None in the villages survived, my lord.”
“None that caught the fever survived. Clearly this girl did not catch
it.” He watched her for a long moment. “Fetch her, Dorian.”
The child squealed and thrashed as she was carried to the shiny
man and placed on his horse. “There now, little pet.” The shiny
man held her firmly, one arm circled around her middle. He dug
through a satchel at his side and withdrew a small golden loaf.
The child stopped thrashing. “Bread!”
The horse beneath her moved onward. The shiny man carefully
picked the rushes from her hair. But the child noticed neither as
she crammed her cheeks with milk-white softness, richer,
sweeter, more satisfying than anything she knew.
“Next town is not far, Sire,” said the one called Dorian. “Shall we
leave the girl there?”
With her belly quiet, heavy sleepiness took over. The child curled
against the shiny man, cooling her face on his smooth tunic. She
felt his hand rest atop her head; his fingers stroke her hair. Just
before slipping under, she caught his soft reply.
“No. Not this one.”
Book 1 in The Nine
|A young-adult book series featuring the adventures
of a unique family of adopted princesses.